Japan has warned North Korea it has “no bright future” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile over Japanese territory for the second time in just over a fortnight, The Guardian reported Friday.
The missile, thought to be intermediate-range, flew further than any missile tested by the regime, triggering emergency sirens and text alerts minutes before it passed over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Friday morning.
The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, called for the international community to take “new measures” against North Korea, singling out Russia and China as the countries best placed to apply pressure on the regime, almost week after it tested what is now believed to be a powerful hydrogen bomb.
As major suppliers of oil to the regime, Russia and China “must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson said in a statement.
The launch was an apparent show of defiance days after the UN Security Council approved a new round of sanctions against the regime.
Flight data shows the missile travelled higher and further than the one involved in the 29 August flyover of Japan, suggesting the regime is continuing to make advances in its missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The UN Security Council is due to meet in New York on Friday to discuss the launch.
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, called the launch “absolutely unacceptable”. He said the recent UN resolution banning North Korean textile exports and capping the supply of oil to the country “showed the international community’s unified strong will for a peaceful solution.
But despite that, North Korea has again carried out this outrageous conduct.
“Now is the time when the international community is required to unite against North Korea’s provocative acts, which threaten world peace,” Abe told reporters shortly after arriving back in Tokyo from a trip to India.
“We must make North Korea understand that if it continues down this road, it will not have a bright future.”
The US defense secretary, James Mattis, said North Korea’s latest “reckless act” had “put millions of Japanese in duck and cover”.
Asked about a possible US military response, Mattis said: “I don’t want to talk on that yet”, adding that US President Donald Trump had been briefed on the launch.
South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, called an emergency meeting of his national security council, while the South demonstrated its own firepower by conducting a ballistic missile launch off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said the missile test was a “very serious and grave challenge” to global security and urged the North to abandon its quest to develop weapons of mass destruction.